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TV STUFF: 'Frasier' Digging Gold

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:51am EST

TV's "Frasier" is talking big.

Or rather, Paramount Television Group, the producer of the titular hit NBC sitcom, is.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Paramount Television is asking the Peacock Network to pay $8 million per episode for Kelsey Grammer's series in contract renewal talks. But the problem is that NBC is standing firm on its existing pay rate, which amounts to about $5 million per show.

According to the report, if the stalemate persists, Paramount can shop the series to other networks after March 1, when its exclusive negotiating period with NBC ends.

NBC currently pays $6 million in license fees for "Friends," the highest ever for a half-hour comedy.

COL. KLINK DIES: Emmy-winning actor Werner Klemperer, perhaps best known for playing Nazi Col. Klink in the 1960s series "Hogan's Heroes," died of cancer Wednesday. He was 80.

Klemperer, winner of two Emmys for his role as the monocled Klink, constantly foiled by Allied soldiers in a German prison camp during World War II, had been suffering from cancer. He died at his home Wednesday.

His films include "The Goddess" (1958); "Operation Eichmann," in which he played the title role; "Judgment at Nuremberg", (1961); and "Ship of Fools" (1965). 'CRIMINAL' TALENT: Supercool actor Vincent D'Onofrio, who you might recognize as the freaky psycho in "The Cell" this year and as a bad alien in "Men in Black," is close to signing with CBS as the star of "Criminal Intent," the third "Law & Order" spinoff.

D'Onofrio would play a senior detective with training in psychology who's an expert at unraveling complex cases.

BYE BYE BYE TO RICHARDS, '$treet': The casualties mount. After dumping "Titans" on Wednesday, NBC announced Thursday that it will also can "The Michael Richards Show" starring the titular ex-"Seinfeld" guy, with the sitcom's last episode airing Jan. 2.

And since misery loves company, Michael Richards might like to know that Fox will ax its Wall Street series "The $treet" starring Jennifer Connelly, Tom Everett Scott and Christian Campbell. Its last outing will be Wednesday.

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